Trademarks in Myanmar
A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories, such as those based on color, smell, or sound.
Trademarks in Myanmar are designated by the following symbols:
™ (for an unregistered trademark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand goods)
℠ (for an unregistered service mark, that is, a mark used to promote or brand services)
® (for a registered trademark) The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings against trademark infringement of its mark.
|Relevant Office||Myanmar Trademark Office|
|Law in Force||There is no trade mark law in force in Myanmar. Trademarks are registered in Myanmar Registry Office under Section 18(f) of the Registration Act and Registration Direction 13 by means of declaration which is a solemn statement of facts made by the trademark owner|
|Multi – Class Declaration||Yes|
|Document(s) required for filing a trade mark application||Executed Declaration of Ownership Special Power of Attorney (POA) executed by the applicant (This document must be duly notarized, authenticated and endorsed by the Myanmar Embassy/ Myanmar Consul/ Vice Consul/|
|Representative of the Government of the Union of Myanmar in some appropriate country for foreign clients. (The aforementioned documents are to be signed by the same person)|
|Prosecution Process||Registration of Declaration of Ownership Publication of Cautionary Notice in local newspaper|
Trademark Searches in Myanmar
An official trademark search cannot be conducted in Myanmar. Prior to filing Declaration of Ownership of Trademark with the Registration of Deeds Office, Yangon, it is advisable to conduct unofficial trademark search before registration of the mark with the Myanmar Registry Office to ascertain the availability of deceptively similar trademarks, existence of prior identical/similar marks on the register etc.
Trademark searches in Myanmar can be classified into following categories:
- Word Search
- Device Search
Trademark Applications in Myanmar
Filing & Registration Procedure
There is no specific trademark law in Myanmar. However, first draft of Trademarks Law has been issued though it will time for a specific trademark law to enter into force.
- Trademark Filing and Registration– A Declaration of Ownership of Trademark can be filed with the Registry of Deeds, Yangon.
- Official Examination of a Trademark in Myanmar/ Issuance of Office Action: In the absence of trademark law in Myanmar, a trademark is not officially examined.
- Publication / Advertisement of a Trademark: In the absence of a trademark law in Myanmar, there is no provision for publication of a mark in Trademarks Journal.
- Opposition of Published Trademark – In the absence of a trademark law in Myanmar, there is no provision for initiating opposition proceedings against a similar trademark.
Filing Commences From January 2020!
In the Myanmar e-Services Implementation and Knowledge Exchange Workshop hosted by World Intellectual Property Organization and the Ministry of Education on October 22, 2019, it was disclosed that:
- New Intellectual Property Office of Myanmar will be set-up under the Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar.
- A ‘soft-opening’ period starting from January 2020 will be commenced by the IPO of Myanmar for recognizing existing trademark registrations by allowing these registrations to be re-filed within 6 months since the opening date on a first to file principle. Therefore, during this period, no new trademark will be received for registration.
- The new system aims at achieving compliance with international standards with publication, examination, registration or rejection etc.
- The IPO is also planning to simplify the current practice by releasing a standard form for requirements for Power of Attorney, associated fees etc.
Therefore, trademarks that have never been registered in Myanmar can only be filed in the second half of 2020. Thus, a brand owner who has never filed a trademark in Myanmar before but wish to file a mark during the ‘soft-opening’ period instead of waiting till the second half of 2020 can finish all the filings under the current system before the end of 2019 and re-file when the ‘soft-opening’ begins. Also, all the applications filed under the current system will enjoy senior rights over the third party marks and protection under the new law.